Orbit Homes builds inaugural legal roster

Orbit Homes, the for-profit arm of residential and social housing organisation Orbit Group, has formed its first-ever legal panel amid a changing funding climate.

Birketts, Eversheds, Hammonds, Wragge & Co and Wright Hassall are among firms that have been appointed.

The subsidiary, which was set up with legal advice from Trowers & Hamlins, saw tenders from around 22 firms.

The panel covers planning, property and construction matters in the Midlands, East Anglia and the South East.

Partner Duncan Murphy at Wragges, which is the only firm to have been appointed across all regions and lots, said: “In advising management we’ll combine the strength of our social housing sector experience with our residential development expertise.”

Social housing organisations, now known as RPs, have been able to operate in the commercial housing sector for some time. However, a combination of factors is likely to hasten their
move into this area, argued Trowers head of housing projects Ian Graham.

“More associations see this as a way of cross-subsidising affordable housing,” he commented. “It’s off the back of the reduction in government grants and pressure from RPs’ own boards, and it’s also about organisations becoming increasingly self-confident.”